The Bible was written by "holy men of God" who "spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." 2 Pet.1:21. Only the Ten Commandments were proclaimed and written on tables of stone by God Himself. Exod 31:18 says, "When He had made an end of speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God." Exod 32:15,16 says, "Moses turned and went down from the mountain, and the two tablets of the Testimony were in his hand. The tablets were written on both sides; on the one side and on the other they were written. Now the tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God engraved on the tablets."
Because Moses remained on the mount 40 days, the people below thought that he must have met with ill fate and died. So they made a golden calf and worshiped it. "So it was, as soon as he came near the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing. So Moses` anger became hot, and he cast the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain. Then he took the calf which they had made, burned it in the fire, and ground it to powder; and he scattered it on the water and made the children of Israel drink it." Exod. 32:19,20.
"And the Lord said to Moses, 'cut two tablets of stone like the first ones, and I will write on these tablets the words that were on the first tablets which you broke. . . .So he cut two tablets of stone like the first ones. Then Moses rose early in the morning and went up Mount Sinai, as the Lord had commanded him; and he took in his hand the two tablets of stone. . . So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water. And He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments." Exod. 34:1,4,28. Moses said, "Then I turned and came down from the mountain, and put the tablets in the ark which I had made; and there they are, just as the Lord commanded me." Deut. 10:5. The full text of the Ten Commandments are as follows:
1) Where was the ark containing the tablets of the Law placed, how was it preserved in later years, and where is it now?.
Answer: In Exod. 25:8,9 God said to Moses: "Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it." This was a portable structure; but later as the people settled in Canaan, they built a Temple, in the Most Holy Place of which the ark of the law was placed. Later, because of the disobedience of the Jews, God sent the Babylonians to pillage Jerusalem, and before their third expedition in 586 BC, "Among the righteous still in Jerusalem, to whom had been made plain the divine purpose, were some who determined to place beyond the reach of ruthless hands the sacred ark containing the tables of stone on which had been traced the precepts of the Decalogue. This they did. With mourning and sadness they secreted the ark in a cave, where it was to be hidden from the people of Israel and Judah because of their sins, and was to be no more restored to them. That sacred ark is yet hidden. It has never been disturbed since it was secreted." Patriarchs & Prophets p. 453. A similar record is found in the apocryphal book of 2 Maccabees 2:4,5.
2) What internal evidence is there to prove that the Ten Commandments were written by God and not by man?
Answer: The first four commandments and the tenth have evidence to prove that the Law was writen by God and not man. For all human laws have been written by rulers of the people to maintain their rule, protect their interests and their social order. Religious laws are generally made by religious leaders according to their own concepts of their gods and beliefs. They invariably made idols of their gods and often used the names of their gods to curse and swear. They were also accustomed to using the names of their gods in in common conversation. Hence the first four precepts of the decalog could not have been made by earthly rulers or religious leaders.
The fourth command that "nor your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle" are to work on the Sabbath day, also indicates that it was not written by man, because in the 15th century BC all lawmakers were slave owners, and the terms "manservant" and "maidservant" meant male and female slaves. No slave owner would think of letting his slaves and beasts of burden rest one day a week. This fact proves that the Decalogue was not written by man, but by God.
The tenth commandment, "You shall not covet," deals with a hidden motive, which God alone can judge. So no earthly ruling power is known to make such a law; for if it is made, there is no feasible way to enforce it.
3) Some say that Jesus' death abolished the Law, so by believing in Jesus we have eternal life, and don't have to keep the law.
Answer: That is muddled thinking. Jesus said, "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." Matt. 5:17-19. This does not mean that a commandment-breaker still has a place in the kingdom of heaven, but means that heaven will regard him as least. And the least number is zero.
4) When Jesus said He came to fulfill the Law, did He mean that He kept the law for us, and we need not keep it?
Answer: That is another muddled idea. "Need not keep the law" means to break the law—let people cheat, steal, commit, adultery and murder. How can you teach that? People who talk that way, actually only object to the Sabbath commandment. They agree to the other nine. But the truth is, not a single command can be abolished. James 2:10 says, "Whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all." Jesus said that the least of the Ten Commandments cannot be destroyed, how much more the same should apply to the Sabbath command---the greatest of the Ten!
5) What makes you say the Sabbath commandment is the greatest?
Answer: The wording of this precept makes up one third of the words in the Ten Commandments. Only this precept tells us that the Lawgiver is the Creator of the heavens, the earth, the sea and all things therein. So this fourth commandment is the seal of the Lawgiver on the Constitution of His kingdom. To abolish this precept would destroy the seal of authority on the Constitution of God's kingdom. This suits the devil perfectly. In Christ's first public sermon He made it clear that He came not to destroy, but to fulfill the Law and the Prophets. He said, "I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." The scribes were the educated people of those days, and the Pharisees were most strict in observing the law. But they looked only at outward performance. Jesus said to His disciples, "The scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses` seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works, for they say, and do not do. . . all their works they do to be seen of men. . . Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisees, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also." Matt. 23:2,3,5,25,26.
After stating that He came to fulfill, not to destroy the Law and the Prophets, Jesus cited two examples to show what He meant:
"You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder.’ and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother . . ..'You fool’ shall be in danger of hell fire." Of the seventh commandment Jesus said, "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Matt. 5:27,28. These two examples show how Jesus fulfilled the Law. Not only did He not reduce its demands, but even raised it to control the thoughts and motives. Isa. 42:21 says, "The Lord is well pleased for His righteousness sake; He will magnify the law and make it honorable." So all who say that Jesus abolished the law when He was crucified, actually deny what He said about fulfilling the Law, and that He came to "magnify the Law and make it honorable." Jesus also fulfilled the Sabbath commandment by precept and example. One month after He led the Israelites out of Egypt, and two months before proclaiming the Decalogue, He taught them to cultivate the habit of Sabbath-keeping, and then commanded then to remember the Sabbath. In teaching the Decalogue, we should follow Christ's example in first studying the Sabbath, and then telling people to remember it, keeping it as a holy day, and exalt Christ as Lord of the Sabbath.
6) Please explain Gal. 3:19, "What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions."
Answer: Before sin entered, inhabitants of the universe lived by the great law of love. In Matt. 22:35-40 a lawyer once asked Jesus, "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus said, " 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."
These two great principles are both positive commands. After man violated them, God had to add some prohibitions. For example, after man committed murder, He commanded, "You shall not murder." When men turned from the true God to worship false gods, God commanded, "You shall have no other gods before Me." And "You shall not bow down to carved images." Man's ancestors originally gladly celebrated the Sabbath with the angels, but later the Israelites became slaves and failed to keep the Sabbath, so later God commanded, "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy." These laws were "added because of transgressions," as they failed to love God with all their hearts and their neighbors as themselves.
7) Some say that we live under grace of the new covenant, not under the law of the old covenant, so we do not need to keep the law. How do you answer that?
Answer: That is twisting the truth. According to the Bible, Both the old and new covenants have to do with God's law. Under the old covenant, the law was written on stone; under the new covenant, it is written on the heart. Heb. 10:16 says, "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them." This is what Jesus calls the new birth. Only the Holy Spirit can enter our hearts and lead us to repent and make us willingly obey God's law.
8) In the new heavens and the new earth, will people still keep the Ten Commandments?
Answer: In the new earth, some conditions will change, so the commandments may not retain their identical wording. Jesus said, "In the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven." Matt. 22:30. So the command, "You shall not commit adultery" will be no longer applicable. But the Sabbath command will be kept by everybody. Isa. 66:22,23 says, "'It shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me,' says the Lord."
9) Some say that the Sabbath commemorates creation; while Sunday celebrates the resurrection, and they say that redemption is more important than creation.
Answer: That is man's opinion, not God's revelation. God's revelation makes the Sabbath a memorial of creation and also a memorial of redemption. Exod. 20:8-11 speaks of the Sabbath as a memorial of creation, and Deut. 5:12-14 speaks of the Sabbath as a memorial of redemption: saying, "Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall not do any work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates, that your manservant and your maidservant may rest as well as you. And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day."
The Sabbath is a memorial of redemption as well as creation. Here is the Bible proof. On the contrary, Sunday being a memorial of redemption has not a single word of Bible proof. Whoever keeps Sunday to replace the Sabbath thereby rejects the Ten Commandments and is in fact in open rebellion against God.
10) Deut. 5:14 adds a line, "that your manservant and your maidservant may rest as well as you." is very significant.
Answer: Yes. Only the Sabbath commandment teaches us both to love God and also to love our neighbors as ourselves. It connects the two, thus constituting a hinge between the first four commandments of love to God with the six precepts on love to man, thus holding the two tablets of the law together. Notice, too, that the fourth and fifth precepts are positive commands, while the other eight are negative prohibitions. One positive command tells us to remember our divine origin, the other teaches us not to forget our human origin. Whoever observes these two commands will not easily break the other eight.
Aside from the Sabbath command being a link between love to God and love to man, the first and tenth commands are also linked. Col. 3:5 says, "Put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry." Matt. 6:24 says, "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (god of wealth)." All who read the Bible through, wonder why the Israelites were always so prone to idolatry. But many modern Christians are likewise guilty of idolatry, and the idol they worship often unconsciously, is mammon.